Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel accounted for more than two-thirds of the total subscribers added by the top four operators during first half of the current calendar year. While Jio led the tally with 38.26% of the total, Bharti followed close behind at 37.85%, driven by addition of Telenor India’s subscribers in May 2018. Jio added 55.1 million subscribers during the first six months of 2018, whereas Bharti added 54.5 million, which included 36 million users it added after the completion of merger with Telenor, latest Trai data showed.
Idea Cellular and Vodafone India’s performance was dismal at 16.74% (24.1 million) and 7.08% (10.2 million), respectively of the total 144 million subscribers added by the four operators during January-June this year. Analysts attributed Jio’s performance to aggressive marketing and promotion of price cuts on mobile tariff plans. In January, the company introduced a `49 unlimited voice plan for JioPhone (4G feature phone) subscribers and slashed tariffs by `50, while adding additional 500MB of 4G data to most of its plans.
Although Bharti has responded well to Jio’s market moves and has been able to fend of competition to a large extent, its saviour here was Telenor’s 36 million subscribers. Without this, its additions would have been in the range of Idea’s. Idea’s performance has been commendable during March (added 5.6 million subscribers), April (5.6 million) and June (6.4 million). Vodafone and Idea’s merger has been cleared by the government on July 26 and both are in the process of completing the formalities. – Financial Express